Swedish Startup Space

Manomotion raises $1.7 million and aims at US

Written by on August 25, 2016
Editors Note: This post is part of a series called Featured posts, presented by Breakit.

Sweden’s Manomotion raises seed round to move your real hands into the virtual worlds of mobile VR.

Manomotion caters to the mobile virtual reality industry. The Swedish VR firm has developed technology that precisely follows hand movement using only a phone’s camera. Players can see their hands in the virtual world, and can use them in realistic ways.

“You could say that we are building the next generation computer mouse, minus the hardware,” says Daniel Carlman, Manomotion co-founder and CEO.

“What is unique, is that we do this with an ordinary camera,” continued Mr. Carlman. “We do not need any 3D sensors to follow hand movement.”

According to Carlman, to track hand movements, Manomotion uses the same type of data analysis that Google uses for searches.

“It’s a bit like a search engine for hand gestures. But our technology is not limited to simple gestures like a V-sign or thumbs up. We can also sense hard you squeeze something with your hand,” said Mr. Carlman.

Manomotion is about to launch their first product, primarily aimed at VR app developers.

At the same time, the company has closed a financing round totalling $1.66 million. Official reports reveal that the company was valued at over $7 million in the equity round.

Exactly who is investing is not clear from the documents, but Daniel Carlman says that it is about 16-17 angel investors. Among them is Lars Thunell, former CEO of SEB, investment banker Lars Molinder, from Carnegie Invest Bank, and Jakob Tolleryd, founder of Compricer. The company’s only previous investor, KTH Holding, are also holding up their share.

The new money will be used in part to scale up the company’s commercial team.

“So far, we have gotten by on own money, an investment from KTH Holding, and little support from Vinnova. Now the focus is on strengthening the development team, and hiring a marketing manager. In the autumn, we will examine how we can strengthen our sales team in the US,” said Mr. Carlman.

Investing in the US is a natural step for the company, said Carlman, in order to be nearer to potential customers.

“Earlier this spring, we were in an incubator program called Tinc. We realized that there are possibilities to make new contacts that open up when you are on location,” said Carlman. “This autumn and next spring, we will try to establish a little more presence in the US, with offices in the Nordic Innovation House, initially.”

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